Police release new details of fatal I-15 road-rage crash

A Mini Cooper is destroyed following a fatal crash on Interstate 15 in Clark County, Nevada, Oct. 8, 2017 | Photo courtesy Nevada Department of Public Safety, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police have identified 69-year-old Michael Prinaris, of Henderson, Nevada, as the victim of a fatal crash on Interstate 15 in Nevada Sunday; authorities also released details about the alleged incident of road rage that led to the deadly crash.

Troopers investigate the scene of a fatal crash on Interstate 15 in Clark County, Nevada, Oct. 8, 2017 | Photo courtesy Nevada Department of Public Safety, St. George News

The incident started just before 1 p.m. PDT Sunday south of mile marker 93 on I-15 near Moapa, Nevada.

A 35-year-old man driving a silver Jeep SUV was traveling south on I-15 in a reckless manner in the inside lane, according to a news release issued by Nevada Highway Patrol.

According to witness statements, the drivers of the Jeep, a black BMW M5 ahead of the Jeep, and a black Cadillac Escalade were engaging in reckless driving behavior due to road rage. At one point during the road-rage incident, a passenger in the Cadillac threw a bottle at the Jeep, the news release states.

The driver of the Jeep attempted to pass the BMW by traveling in the inside median, which is a dirt shoulder, when the right side of the Jeep struck the left side of the BMW, according to NHP.

The BMW went southwest across the travel lanes and into the south dirt shoulder where it struck an embankment, and the Jeep re-entered the inside southbound lane.

A Jeep SUV is totaled following a fatal crash on Interstate 15 in Clark County, Nevada, Oct. 8, 2017 | Photo courtesy Nevada Department of Public Safety, St. George News

While steering the Jeep to the left, the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing the SUV to rotate counterclockwise and travel across the median into the northbound lanes.

At the same time, Prinaris was northbound in a red Mini Cooper coupe in the middle lane. The driver of a silver Nissan Pathfinder SUV was also northbound behind the Mini Cooper in the outside lane.

The Mini Cooper hit head-on the right side of the Jeep. The Nissan SUV then struck the right front end of the Mini Cooper, the news release states.

Medical responders arrived and pronounced Prinaris dead at the scene.

The 35-year-old male driver of the Jeep was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. He is currently in stable condition and has been booked in absentia for felony reckless driving with death, according to the news release. His identity has not yet been released by police, as he remains in the hospital.

Traffic backs up behind the scene of a fatal crash on Interstate 15 in Clark County, Nevada, Oct. 8, 2017 | Photo courtesy Nevada Department of Public Safety, St. George News

The 73-year-old man driving the Nissan and his 73-year-old female passenger were transported to the hospital with non-incapacitating injuries.

The 24-year-old man driving the BMW, Nan Ying, suffered no injuries and was booked into the Clark County Detention Center for misdemeanor reckless driving.

Jincheng Sun, the 19-year-old man driving the Cadillac, was also booked into jail for misdemeanor reckless driving. His passenger, the 20-year-old man who threw the bottle at the Jeep, was jailed for littering.

The incident left northbound lanes in the area of the crash closed for several hours into Sunday night, blocking traffic behind it.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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12 Comments

  • Real Life October 10, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    These guys should do a minimum of 5 years.

    • JingTing October 10, 2017 at 11:31 pm

      This is not the truth.

    • .... October 10, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      You should do at least 1/2 that

  • utahdiablo October 10, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    reckless driving charge? BS on that….the family of the fallen need to get these POS charged with Vehicular Homicide…. Vehicular homicide is a crime that involves the death of a person other than the driver as a result of either criminally negligent or murderous operation of a motor vehicle. In cases of criminal negligence, the defendant is commonly charged with unintentional vehicular manslaughter

    • .... October 10, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      Oh you havent heard anything yet. wait till the plea bargaining comes up

      • Real Life October 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        11:38am? You better get back to bed.

  • xbcmc059 October 10, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    From the looks of it, it appears to be NHI.

  • Ladyk October 11, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Sad story and a good lesson to not get all worked up while on the roadway. Plus looking at the mini coop is exactly why I drive a suburban. Cars that are that small are death traps in an accident. There is just no room to spare. Prayers to the family of the gentleman that lost his life.

  • Caveat_Emptor October 11, 2017 at 8:21 am

    No question this was a tragic accident, that could have been avoided.
    Perhaps, as a result of the Jeep crossing into oncoming traffic, AzDOT might consider installing a wire rope barrier down the median of I-15.
    As pointed out by others, the Mini was not capable of absorbing the enormous energy of the head-on, so the fatality would be expected. Hard to imagine what the Mini driver could have done differently to avoid the oncoming Jeep……

  • panda October 11, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Those of us unlucky enough to be headed to St. George that day were stuck on the freeway for 9 to 10 hours. Closed for a few hours is inaccurate. It was closed for about 8 hours or more.

  • DB October 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    “His passenger, the 20-year-old man who threw the bottle at the Jeep, was jailed for littering.” Littering??!!

  • Benjamin November 5, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I can second that. That was blocked for way to long. I was stuck in a truck with broken ac that hole time

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